Sunday, November 29, 2009

Who'd a thunk?

When I was a gel, still at school and coming up to A-levels, my mother told me over and over* that I should be a teacher "It is such a good job for a woman, dear."

Now, that was quite sufficient to deter me even in those far off days, but in fact I knew very well that I was most definitely not suited to school teaching. I would be dreadful at it, would hate it and would therefore do irreparable damage to the poor unfortunate children who crossed my path, and indeed, to myself.

I'm still sure that I was right. But to my considerable amazement, a few years ago I found that I could in fact teach spinning. I enjoyed it, and did it pretty well. Totally different to school teaching, of course. It isn't a relentless day in day out conveyor belt of reluctant young people, but (nowadays) adults who have chosen to be in any particular class. Quite a different thing. I have worked with children, and even that does have its charms, when they are on a day out, doing something other than times tables, or whichever aspect of the curriculum is due at 10.45 am on the first Tuesday in June. So to speak.

Actually, slightly an aside, I did once teach a series of classes to one year group in a Junior school, on feltmaking, and that worked well for us all too - but again, it was not the norm for them, and very much more like playing than drudgery. But we did have fun. we are at the end of November, and just yesterday we taught our last workshop of 2009, the last of a very, very busy year. (You have to remember that the DSM still has a day job, and although he enjoys the workshops and does find them in many ways energising, they are hard work. He's due for a rest!)

It was a lovely day. Twelve newcomers to spindle spinning - well, two of them had done a bit before, but not a lot. So, all starting with the basics, but in the course of the day, they spun and plyed (Andean and with a nostepinne) and then had a play with a different sort of wool top, and had a look at other spindles and fibres. One exceptionally satisfying thing was that one person had struggled a lot in the morning, so much so that I had seriously feared that she was going to leave. By the end, she had not only mastered it, but had spun some highly creditable silk on one of my little spindles, and by what she was telling me, I am absolutely convinced that she was in fact an intuitive spinner who was going to go far.

When that happens, it is....fantastic.

A few photographs.

BRE workshop2

BRE workshop1

BRE workshop3

There is a little icing on the cake. My copy of the Journal came on Friday, wherein were the student reports from Summer School. The one for our class was really nice, and enabled us to feel that we are doing something right. Seemingly, our intentions when we devise and teach a class do transfer to those who take them, and it is such a pleasure to get that feedback.

Next year is so far scheduled to be much, much quieter. At the moment, we only have one workshop booked, although it would not be a surprise to have others materialise. Who knows? On sad thing, the format of the Woolfest teaching programme is changing, so there will not be beginners sessions there next year. Whilst it will make it less hectic for us, I enjoyed doing the classes, and do feel they fulfilled a need. Not to worry, though. Something else will develop - may already be so doing!

It's all good!

* That is neither the only thing my mother told me over and over, nor the only such I ignored.....

1 comment:

Dorothy said...

I learnt lots from attending one of your workshops, and it was fun! Good teachers need a good sense of humour ;)

I hope my Journal turns up tomorrow, I'm always one of the last to get my copy, I shall be looking out for the postman all morning...!